FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Mike Anderson has not spoken to forward Marshawn Powell or guard BJ Young about their plans for next season.
So Anderson said Friday he wouldn’t guess whether the Razorbacks’ two leading scorers will return for the 2013-14 season or start professional basketball careers.
“I don't deal in speculation. I never have,” Anderson said. “So once those guys get back (from spring break) and we get an opportunity, I'll sit down with those guys as well as the rest of our team. I do that with everybody, all our kids. All our players.
“And in the meantime, if they come to me before then and want to address it, then we'll address it. But I don't deal in speculation.”
Anderson couldn’t provide much clarity on Young and Powell, who are considering their options now that 2012-13 has ended. Both players ranked among the top 10 in the Southeastern Conference in scoring and accounted for roughly 40 percent of Arkansas’ point production, combining for 29.7 this season.
Their status is one of the biggest questions surrounding the Razorbacks as they move into the offseason. Both Young and Powell said they weren’t thinking about the future as Arkansas prepared for the SEC Tournament earlier this month. But the early exit means they may have played for the final time as Razorbacks.
“Who knows what I might choose,” Powell said about his future after the Hogs struggled in their loss to Vanderbilt. “I really don’t like to go out the way I went out like that. I don’t want to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. So it depends.”
Powell has spent four years on campus, but missed most of 2011-12 after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He returned to form last season and averaged 14.5 points and 5.4 rebounds.
Young – who explored the draft as a freshman before returning to Arkansas – led the team in scoring (15.2 points) and improved in a few areas as a sophomore. But he struggled from the perimeter, shooting 22.7 percent (25 of 110) from 3-point range.
A 2013 NBA mock draft by CBSSports.com listed Young as a second-round pick (the 45th overall selection) Thursday. Powell was not among the selections.
Arkansas didn’t have any seniors on its roster last season so 12 scholarship players – including Powell and Young — are eligible in 2013-14. The Razorbacks have signed two players in forwards Bobby Portis and Moses Kingsley, which would put them over the NCAA maximum of 13 scholarships granted each season.
It means Arkansas will be without at least one scholarship player from the 2012-13 roster. Anderson said the Razorbacks are still recruiting players, too, which means the number will rise if Arkansas adds to its 2013 class during the late signing period.
“As I always say, we are always recruiting,” Anderson said. “You never stop recruiting. I have been in this business long enough to understand that part of it. And when you talk about scholarships and what we have available, I am sure when that time comes it will work itself out.”
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau